The Texture Alphabet

I have been making a texture alphabet! I finished it up yesterday. Here are all the letters, done in watercolor:

This project was inspired by my daughter’s love of big, fancy words.

More watercolors

Here are a few recent watercolor sketches…

These two are the result of one of my painted garbage experiments. Here, I primed some paperboard from food packaging with white latex gesso, then painted with watercolor once it had dried:



I like the effect. I love watercolors when they are loose and hard to control. It’s similar to (but not exactly like) painting on yupo paper. No or very little color glazing, and it doesn’t absorb into the paper at all. The colors remain very bright.

This is a sketch of my sister’s cat Bazinga in ink and watercolor. Bazinga is an inside kitty, presently caterwauling because she wants to be an outdoor kitty. This is how I imagine she’d behave once she actually went outdoors:


And this one is my submission for June’s Scbwi Draw This contest. The prompt word is “splash.” It’s watercolor on yupo paper with charcoal pencil. My love affair with yupo paper continues! It’s the only paper I’ve found that can achieve the same color intensity and luminosity as dried paint on a watercolor palette. And I am obsessed with my watercolor palette(s).

Splash large

I’m back from vacation, so I should be painting more often now! And I’ve finally recovered from a months-long illness that hindered my creative ability, so I’m looking forward to working on more detailed and focused projects in the near future!

Oil Portraiture, Part 2

Time to paint up from the grisaille! (see Oil Portraiture, Part 1). Thin layers of oil mixed with medium (I used Galkyd to speed up drying) were glazed on, color by color. If you were following along on my instagram or twitter, you know this part was agony for me. I’m really glad I didn’t give in to my urges to scrape the whole project and paint as I usually do (thickly with visible, moving brushstrokes) because I am so pleased with the luminosity this old master approach achieved! Hey, those guys knew what they were doing. And it’s supposed to get better with age.

Here’s how it looked as I completed each glaze, day by day. I was only able to work on it for 20 minutes or less a day because of my busy schedule these past two weeks. I’m calling it finished now or else I’d spend ages fidgeting with it, and I want to move on to my next experiment– painting a portrait with Zorn’s palette!


Oil Portraiture, Part 1

I learned to paint from impressionists, alla prima style (wet on wet), but I have always longed to capture the luminous look of classical portraits you see in the art museum. I started researching that older style of painting, working up slowly with glazes, and I started my first attempt last week.

This grisaille oil painting of my daughter is the underpainting.

Here’s the first pencil sketch, a study to work out the values. Then slowly building up the grisaille.

Once the grisaille underpainting is completely dry, I’ll begin Part 2, glazing color.




Two quickly painted watercolors where I allowed myself minimal drying time and painted with one oversized brush to get a very loose, painterly feel. The top one is a doodle of my daughter and her puppy-love, and the bottom one is a doodle of the raccoon who begged to be let onto my screened patio last night during the storm. (I said no, but it was hard. He was incredibly cute.)

Catalogue for Paper Dolls, the Superhero Outfits

Here are some superhero outfits re-imagined as pantsuits

The Crimson Avenger, Jill Caryle


The Invisible Woman, Sue Storm


She-Ra, Princess of Power


Wonder Woman, Diana Prince


Supergirl, Kara Zor-El




Misty Knight


Catalogue for Paper Dolls, Item 53

Merricat’s outfit at the end of Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” A tablecloth Constance cut a hole in for her head, tied with the gold cord from the draperies, her mother’s old, brown shoes. We are so happy.